Over the last few years, I have put on a few pounds. Okay, to be totally honest, I’ve put on more than a few pounds. Weight that I have desperately been trying to lose. And, let me tell you, anyone who tries to tell you that it is just as easy to lose weight at 50+ as it is at 20 or thirty-something is either seriously misguided or straight-up delusional. I walk, I workout daily and I try to eat sensibly. For me, eating sensibly does not mean living in a constant state of self-denial. Sometimes it means that I can eat a small piece of dark chocolate, but not a entire candy bar (or package of candy bars). Or, when I’m craving crunchy, delicious french fries, I bypass fries made from potatoes and instead opt for chickpea fries.
These chickpea fries with Harissa ketchup are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, bursting with flavor and, as an added bonus, are high in protein and fiber. One serving of chickpea fries has about 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. And, they are naturally vegan and gluten-free to boot! Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Now, if you really want to make a sensible choice, chickpea fries are also delicious baked instead of fried.
Chickpea fries are awesome on their own. But, what french fry doesn’t like a little dip in the ketchup pool? In this case, these banging chickpea fries deserve something better than your regular old run of the mill ketchup. So, I whipped up a batch of Harissa ketchup to keep them company. Talk about good! My son, Brandon, and I ate so many of these fries dipped in Harissa ketchup, that I started to worry that I wouldn’t have anything left for the photo shoot! Now, I like my Harrisa straight-up, with a bit of fire, but, if you want to tone it down a little, just mix it with a good quality ketchup…and dig in!
Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore! These are not your everyday white potato french fries. Chickpea fries are high in fiber, high in protein, vegan and gluten-free! But, most importantly, they are downright delicious!
Believe me, the world’s not going to come to an end just because you decide to enjoy a treat every now and then. Like a good friend of mine said keep on exercising, eat sensibly, but give yourself some grace. Grab a chickpea fry, dig in and crunch on!!Print
Chickpea Fries (Panelle)
Crispy and delicious chickpea fries are high in fiber and protein. Naturally vegan and gluten-free!
- Yield: 6 people
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- fine sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TB olive oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add 1 tsp sea salt to boiling water.
- Into boiling water, carefully add in 1/4 cup of chickpea flour at a time. Whisk constantly until entirely incorporated and thickened (kind of the consistency of oatmeal…only smooth). Cook for 2-4 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Carefully spread the above mixture onto a prepared (lightly oiled with olive oil) rimmed sheet pan. Once spread, cover entire mixture with plastic wrap. Gently press down plastic wrap so that it touches the surface of the chickpea mixture. Put into fridge and let chill for 2-24 hours.
- Once chilled, remove mixture from fridge and cut into french fry style strips. (A pizza wheel is perfect for this job!)
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive or vegetable oil. When oil is hot, carefully add the chickpea fries, cooking for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn and move fries around as needed. Cook only a few fries at a time, being careful not to overcrowd your pan. (if desired, these may be baked in a 425 degree oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 1 or more baking sheets with parchment paper. Working in batches or with multiple parchment-lined baking sheets, evenly space fries on the sheet(s). Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until fries are slightly dry and browned, about 45 minutes. Serve hot from the oven..)
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired. Can also sprinkle on smoked paprika, herbs or any other desired seasonings. Enjoy!
- Yield: 4 cups
- 4 red bell peppers
- 4 jalapeno peppers
- 4 dried chile guajillo
- 4 dried chile ancho
- 1/2 cup dried chile arbol
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 TB coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 TB cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp Sea Salt (more or less to taste)
- 2 TB olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with foil. Wash the bell and jalapeno peppers and peel the whole garlic cloves. Place the bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves on the sheet. Place in the oven and let the peppers and garlic roast for 10 minutes. Carefully turn with tongs and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, cover all the dried chile peppers with boiling water. Cover bowl with foil and let soak for about 30 minutes, until re-hydrated and plump.
- Remove all but the bell peppers from the oven. Put the jalapenos in a bowl, covered with foil. Set aside the roasted garlic. Return the bell peppers to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bell peppers from the oven, place in a foil covered bowl with the roasted jalapenos. Allow them to steam for about 10 minutes.
- Toast cumin and coriander seeds, until fragrant, in a dry pan. This only takes 1 to 2 minutes, so watch carefully, to prevent burning. Grind the toasted seeds in a spice grinder, or, if you are feeling ambitious, use a mortar and pestle.
- Drain, stem and seed re-hydrated dried peppers and put into bowl of food processor. Peel charred skin off bell peppers, stem, seed and add to food processor bowl. Do the same for the roasted jalapenos. Add olive oil, garlic, spices, lemon juice and tomato paste. Process all until a smooth consistency. Taste for seasoning, add more or less to your taste. (Note: this Harissa has a kick as written. However, if you want it even hotter, feel free to incorporate some of the seeds from the peppers before processing. For a milder version, mix your homemade Harissa with a good ketchup…you get to keep the flavor, without all the heat.)